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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Peering Into the Void - Where Religion and Science Meet

People of extreme faith – the kind that believe their religious texts are 100% accurate and that science is a secret ploy by the devil to corrupt mankind – feel like they know something the rest of us don’t.  After all, God’s Word is absolute.  These folk (found in all the world’s major religions) feel they are unassailable in their faith and, essentially, look down on those who don’t share their ideology.  The facts must be understood through the lens of faith to be understood at all.  Those that challenge their beliefs are threats to be contested.
The intelligencia – those who easily connect dots, have a breath of knowledge about science and theories and seek logical, verifiable explanations for natural phenomenon – feel that they have the answers to the physical questions of the world.  After all, there’s nothing else beyond science.  Meaning is irrelevant.  Those who fail to grasp their facts are harmful to society and themselves and must be challenged. 
Both groups stigmatize each other as ignorant of reality.  Both are as right as they are wrong.  They are both looking through a lens, darkly, not realizing that the lens is actually a mirror.
There is nothing but the natural world.  We don’t fully understand this system; we realize it’s something cosmically infinite that we simply don’t have the computational power to fully comprehend (yet).  But, we know we’re a part of it, just as individual cells are a part of our own anatomy.  We continually seek further answers, looking for a Theory of Everything that provides a clear, simple explanation for existence at the macro and mirco levels.  In short, science is looking for meaning, even while telling themselves meaning doesn’t matter.
There is nothing but God – an unfathomable entity of which we are part.  There is a reason certain religious concepts, like The Tree of Life and The Golden Rule, are universal; they make sense in terms of conceptualizing reality and maximizing the evolutionary benefit of social systems.  Just as there’s nothing mystical about gravity, it should come as no surprise that like minds would produce like interpretations.  Great religious leaders have a tendency to speak in parables – metaphors provide easier access points to often complex concepts.  As metaphors for the development of self-awareness,  Adam and Eve share much in common with Prometheus.
The search for meaning is encoded into our DNA; our very genetic makeup and the nature of biological/social evolution serve as their own force of gravity, pulling us together towards a shared centre.
It’s a journey we can try to resist, but will never escape.  Wherever we come from, we all end up in the same place.
Is it not better to be conscious of the journey?

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